Australia’s tourism industry is ready to get back to business, welcoming an end to the ongoing debate over the rate of the ‘backpacker tax’, which looks set to pass through the Senate this week.“Our industry has been caught up in this unimpressive political posturing for most of this year and we are ready to welcome the end of the debate and to put our focus back to the business of providing an amazing destination for international visitors,” ATEC Managing Director, Peter Shelley said today.
“Unfortunately damage has been done to our reputation and image as a great destination for youth travellers and our focus should now be on getting behind Tourism Australia’s campaigns to re engage this market.
“ATEC members, businesses which are at the coalface of the export tourism industry, are telling us they are experiencing a 20-30% decrease in visitation from this market and they are very eager to get Australia back on track.
“With 400 tourism industry businesses gathered in Canberra this week to attend ATEC’s annual conference, we are glad the Government has moved today to find a positive outcome and we are hopeful of its support in the Senate.
“As one of the strongest examples of export success in Australia today, the tourism industry deserves the strong support of all political parties and this means providing a policy framework for success.
“This includes having certainty on policy settings such as the Passenger Movement Charge and we welcome this being held at $60 for a 5 year period.
“As our industry enters the busiest time of the year, all our members will be thankful when this issue is off the agenda once and for all.”